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The "Mega Diva" and legendary star of Black-ish looks back on her memorable journey to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way. Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a mid-western girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire readers. Told in the audacious voice her fans ador The "Mega Diva" and legendary star of Black-ish looks back on her memorable journey to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way. Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a mid-western girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire readers. Told in the audacious voice her fans adore, Jenifer describes a road to fame made treacherous by dysfunction and undiagnosed mental illness, including a sex addiction. Yet, supported by loving friends and strengthened by "inner soldiers," Jenifer never stopped entertaining and creating. We watch as Jenifer develops icon status stemming from a series of legendary screen roles as the sassy, yet loveable, mama or auntie. And we watch as her emotional disturbances, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations movie, launch her on a continuing search for answers, love, and healing. Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with sixteen-pages of color photos, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: "Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes." From her first taste of applause at five years old to landing on Broadway within eleven days of graduation and ultimately achieving success in movies, television and global concert halls, Jenifer reveals her outrageous life story with lots of humor, a few regrets and most importantly, unbridled joy. Candid, warm and wonderfully inspiring, The Mother of Black Hollywood intimately reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest.


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The "Mega Diva" and legendary star of Black-ish looks back on her memorable journey to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way. Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a mid-western girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire readers. Told in the audacious voice her fans ador The "Mega Diva" and legendary star of Black-ish looks back on her memorable journey to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way. Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a mid-western girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire readers. Told in the audacious voice her fans adore, Jenifer describes a road to fame made treacherous by dysfunction and undiagnosed mental illness, including a sex addiction. Yet, supported by loving friends and strengthened by "inner soldiers," Jenifer never stopped entertaining and creating. We watch as Jenifer develops icon status stemming from a series of legendary screen roles as the sassy, yet loveable, mama or auntie. And we watch as her emotional disturbances, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations movie, launch her on a continuing search for answers, love, and healing. Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with sixteen-pages of color photos, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: "Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes." From her first taste of applause at five years old to landing on Broadway within eleven days of graduation and ultimately achieving success in movies, television and global concert halls, Jenifer reveals her outrageous life story with lots of humor, a few regrets and most importantly, unbridled joy. Candid, warm and wonderfully inspiring, The Mother of Black Hollywood intimately reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest.

30 review for The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sakeenah Graham

    Do not read this book!! Listen to the audiobook!!! You will do yourself a disservice by not hearing her words from her own mouth. I loved this book. She was of course real and raw but she brought it full circle and I could tell it was a genuine labor of love, to help people and not a Broadway/Hollywood tell all or a ploy to make some money. Well done!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brown Girl Reading

    EXCELLENT memoir! I had the pleasure of reading and listening to the audiobook simultaneously. What a life this entertaining woman has had! I definitely recommend it, especially the audiobook because she is narrating it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Orsayor

    This book defines what a Memoir should be. No candy coated life stories here! I laughed I cried I sighed Then I laughed some more Then I cried again But most of all... I feel rejuvenated. (In these streets) @jeniferlewisforreal #themotherofblackhollywood #jeniferlewis #Legend #Icon

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jamise // Spines & Vines

    "Shoulders back, titties first" - Jenifer Lewis Through triumphs and tragedy Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this hilarious, laugh out loud, honest, and down to earth memoir. I'm so glad I chose to listen to the audiobook because the true essence of her spirit, her joys and her pains are revealed magically. Ms. Lewis' voice and animation draws you in immediately. This was the perfect book to kick of 2018 and the audiobook is a must!! “JOURNAL ENTRY: Stop waiting for something or someone to come a "Shoulders back, titties first" - Jenifer Lewis Through triumphs and tragedy Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this hilarious, laugh out loud, honest, and down to earth memoir. I'm so glad I chose to listen to the audiobook because the true essence of her spirit, her joys and her pains are revealed magically. Ms. Lewis' voice and animation draws you in immediately. This was the perfect book to kick of 2018 and the audiobook is a must!! “JOURNAL ENTRY: Stop waiting for something or someone to come and make you happy. Meditate daily. Breathe. Come on. You’re okay. You have friends. Love them. Respect them. Go out and play. Learn to be alone.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    It is no secret that I love Jenifer Lewis, she is talented and iconic. Notable films include The Preacher's Wife,Nora's Hair Salon and other syndicated television shows. Not only is she hilarious but I love how blunt she is about life, that is rare with celebrities. Prior to reading this, my expectations were high but this one was a decent book. I knew that she had a bipolar disorder but finding out why was interesting, a new perspective on those that have the same condition. Besides a few laugh It is no secret that I love Jenifer Lewis, she is talented and iconic. Notable films include The Preacher's Wife,Nora's Hair Salon and other syndicated television shows. Not only is she hilarious but I love how blunt she is about life, that is rare with celebrities. Prior to reading this, my expectations were high but this one was a decent book. I knew that she had a bipolar disorder but finding out why was interesting, a new perspective on those that have the same condition. Besides a few laughs here and there, it was not one of the best memoirs. Maybe cause I was expecting it be better written, not that the writing style was bad but it was not engrossing as other memoirs I read. However I did liked the chapter about her discovering the talent to sing, but nothing really stood out as being magnificent. It was a decent memoir but I will stick to seeing her on screen, then reading her books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ezinwanyi Chinyere

    Enjoyment: ♥♥♥♥½ Narration by Jenifer Lewis: ♥♥♥♥½ Plot: ♥♥♥♥ Writing: ♥♥♥♥ I listened to this story and was fascinated. It was dramatic, over the top and loud just like the actress. Jenifer Lewis has lived an eventful life thus far. I found this audiobook more succinct, more dramatic and more in depth than many of the memoirs I’ve read of late. I loved that she told her own story and controlled the narrative in a way that introduced her to the audience so we get a rounded picture of her life in fro Enjoyment: ♥♥♥♥½ Narration by Jenifer Lewis: ♥♥♥♥½ Plot: ♥♥♥♥ Writing: ♥♥♥♥ I listened to this story and was fascinated. It was dramatic, over the top and loud just like the actress. Jenifer Lewis has lived an eventful life thus far. I found this audiobook more succinct, more dramatic and more in depth than many of the memoirs I’ve read of late. I loved that she told her own story and controlled the narrative in a way that introduced her to the audience so we get a rounded picture of her life in front of and behind the Hollywood persona. She is so bold and blunt, saying it like she feels and making no apologies. The Hollywood Diva takes the reader through her childhood, relationships, her abuse and her struggle with mental illness. I only knew what I’ve read on blogs and in magazines so it’s always interesting to hear the private musings of a celebrity. I love her brutal honesty, I love that she is able to reflect and admit mistakes she made in relationships and understand how her attitude affected others around her. After listening to her book, I think there is a little bit of her actual personality in EVERY character I've seen her play. She clearly loves what she does because it comes across loud and clear. The world of entertainment is her first love. I hope she continues to do what she loves.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    This book started with so much promise. Jenifer Lewis was funny and honest. I enjoyed her antics but then the book took a turn when she started listing all of the people she knew who had died from AIDS. I was listening to the audio version so it sucked all the air out of my car. I had my brother in the car with me and I was bragging about how funny she was and then she got so depressing. I also believe Jenifer Lewis is a bigger star in her own mind than in actuality. Ms. Lewis named all these peo This book started with so much promise. Jenifer Lewis was funny and honest. I enjoyed her antics but then the book took a turn when she started listing all of the people she knew who had died from AIDS. I was listening to the audio version so it sucked all the air out of my car. I had my brother in the car with me and I was bragging about how funny she was and then she got so depressing. I also believe Jenifer Lewis is a bigger star in her own mind than in actuality. Ms. Lewis named all these people she has worked with and all of these movies she had roles in and why don't I remember her? I don't remember her playing Tupac's mother in Poetic Justice, The Preacher's Wife or What's Love Got to Do With It. She is very talented but I only recently became acquainted with her from being on Blackish. Jenifer Lewis was never on my radar before that. I got so tired of the name dropping. I hate when regular people do it so I hated it even more in this book. My GOD, it was Bette this, Whitney that and Tom said and not to mention all of the other names of people who I did not know because I assume I am not in the theater world. The woman had a WHOLE LOT OF SEX I mean a WHOLE lot. It was in major part to her being bi-polar and remaining untreated for so long. I appreciated her candor and the role her mental illness played in her life. Mental health discussions in the black community are still very taboo. I appreciate more and more that many people of color are sharing their stories. Overall I say to skip it. Read We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union instead.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Keyona

    This book was funny, honest, loud and way over the top just like the writer. I'd expect nothing less from Jenifer Lewis. I of course listened to the audiobook version which provides the entire experience. She's quite honest about her childhood, her mental health, her sex life, and the ups and downs of being a hollywood diva. Before reading this I only thought she was an actress. I had no idea that she had these roles in between her one-woman shows and could really perform. My only annoyance was This book was funny, honest, loud and way over the top just like the writer. I'd expect nothing less from Jenifer Lewis. I of course listened to the audiobook version which provides the entire experience. She's quite honest about her childhood, her mental health, her sex life, and the ups and downs of being a hollywood diva. Before reading this I only thought she was an actress. I had no idea that she had these roles in between her one-woman shows and could really perform. My only annoyance was the random full on singing throughout the book. I'm just not a fan of her voice and I just wanted the book not a musical. Other than that it was very entertaining and I enjoyed it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nakia

    Of the three memoirs I read this year, The Mother of Black Hollywood was my fav. such candor and transparency. Even through sharing her struggles with mental illness, sex addiction and a childhood riddled with poverty and loneliness, Jenifer Lewis is laugh out loud funny. As soon as I finished the last page, I turned on Jackie's Back and vowed to catch up on Black-ish. I love her and I'm glad she is finally reaching the success she aspired to since the 70s.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dee's Reading Zone

    "The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir" was a very thought-provoking memoir that was funny, inspiring while managing to capture Lewis's true self without being to commercial in Black Hollywood. You will find yourself giggling oftentimes about her life story but crying too with all she has endured to stay true to herself in the face of her addictions and staying noticeable in Black Hollywood. This was Jenifer Lewis' story... not a gossip rag to divide a people or shock the readers but to celebr "The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir" was a very thought-provoking memoir that was funny, inspiring while managing to capture Lewis's true self without being to commercial in Black Hollywood. You will find yourself giggling oftentimes about her life story but crying too with all she has endured to stay true to herself in the face of her addictions and staying noticeable in Black Hollywood. This was Jenifer Lewis' story... not a gossip rag to divide a people or shock the readers but to celebrate her reality, her journey and still being relevant in the 21st century! Highly recommended! 5 Blackmagic stars *****

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bobbieshiann

    The Mother Of Black Hollywood has spoken when she tells her story without a filter. She faces so many trials and it is applauding to see her keep stepping. Being able get a glimpse of what life was like prior to the 2000s was beautiful . Black love, showbiz, sacrificing time just to so you can do what you love. Ms. Lewis touches on her sexual escapades, the AIDS epidemic hitting, sexual abuse, death after death after death, mental battles that finally had a name years later (bipolar dispersed). The Mother Of Black Hollywood has spoken when she tells her story without a filter. She faces so many trials and it is applauding to see her keep stepping. Being able get a glimpse of what life was like prior to the 2000s was beautiful . Black love, showbiz, sacrificing time just to so you can do what you love. Ms. Lewis touches on her sexual escapades, the AIDS epidemic hitting, sexual abuse, death after death after death, mental battles that finally had a name years later (bipolar dispersed). It’s powerful how she tells her story and once she’s diagnosed all the symptoms she displayed connected together and finally gave her understanding. What really caught me is how Ms. Lewis still found a way to be happy. To laugh and make others laugh even when she was suffering. “Back then I didn’t know my body was a temple. How precious and fragile we are. I was blind, crippled, and crazy ... desperate to be a star. Oh, but i got up somehow, and scrubbed most of it away. Left a little funk on me so i’d be stronger on this day. No shtick Still love dick”. What disturbed me the most was her relationship with her mother. Her mother was in survival mode and it took away from showing compassion towards her children. She worked hard to keep her children fed and clothed, but as a single mother who was set in her ways, Jenifer suffered. Her mother ignored her outcry of being molested by the pastor but instead still engaged with the pastor and even let her daughter in the car with him again. This is all to common and relevant. It can be so hard for children’s voices to be heard and this is a prime example. This is apart of why Jenifer had struggles growing up and did not find healing until so many years later. P.S. She cussed the pastor out so good once she started healing and pulling back layers and layers of hurt.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christina Thomas

    I am listening to this on Audible. I enjoy Jenifer bleep bleep Lewis as an actress (if you read the book you got that)! I however am not enjoying this memoir. I appreciate her candor and transparency. Everyone has a story and I'm grateful that she is sharing hers, but the book is hard to listen too. Ms. Lewis has a distinct and heavy theatrical voice. It's a little much for 10+ hours. Although she shares a lot of information about herself. I still don't get a sense that I know her. If that makes I am listening to this on Audible. I enjoy Jenifer bleep bleep Lewis as an actress (if you read the book you got that)! I however am not enjoying this memoir. I appreciate her candor and transparency. Everyone has a story and I'm grateful that she is sharing hers, but the book is hard to listen too. Ms. Lewis has a distinct and heavy theatrical voice. It's a little much for 10+ hours. Although she shares a lot of information about herself. I still don't get a sense that I know her. If that makes any sense! The book reads more like a resume. I'm sorry it was a tough read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    It is ESSENTIAL that you experience this book as an audio book. What a storyteller. She gives me life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)

    5/5 Bravo! Ms. Lewis opens her life, without fear or pause, to present a memoir befitting a woman who, to this point, lived without apologies. She refuses to hold back, respecting her readers enough to give them the truth they paid to read or hear. For the pearl clutchers out there she appears strong, and rather unladylike, but to this diamond wearer, she's certified gold. Upfront and a tad raunchy titles (Read Them!) ushers chapters discussing everything from her sex addiction, diverse career on 5/5 Bravo! Ms. Lewis opens her life, without fear or pause, to present a memoir befitting a woman who, to this point, lived without apologies. She refuses to hold back, respecting her readers enough to give them the truth they paid to read or hear. For the pearl clutchers out there she appears strong, and rather unladylike, but to this diamond wearer, she's certified gold. Upfront and a tad raunchy titles (Read Them!) ushers chapters discussing everything from her sex addiction, diverse career on stage and screen, and her bipolar disorder. While some may find issue with her honesty, I appreciated it fully and I think most will. Do yourself a favor and cop a copy of this brilliant memoir. Better yet, snatch the audiobook version where she gives a refreshingly funny and, at times, sad take on her book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    I love hearing these celebrities narrating their own stories. Jenifer Lewis is no exception. Her big personality shined through on this audio. I learned a lot about her that I didn't know, which wasn't hard since I don't follow celebs lives. I've only known her to be the Mother of Hollywood and was unaware of her background in Broadway. It was also interesting to learn about her mental struggles. I found myself raising my eyebrows throughout the book before I learned the reason why behind her be I love hearing these celebrities narrating their own stories. Jenifer Lewis is no exception. Her big personality shined through on this audio. I learned a lot about her that I didn't know, which wasn't hard since I don't follow celebs lives. I've only known her to be the Mother of Hollywood and was unaware of her background in Broadway. It was also interesting to learn about her mental struggles. I found myself raising my eyebrows throughout the book before I learned the reason why behind her behavior. I liked that she was raw and transparent and kept it true to her voice, potty mouth and all lol.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deniece

    Absolutely love everything about this memoir! Aunty Jenie was fabulous as always.

  17. 5 out of 5

    J Beckett

    What can be said about Jenifer Lewis that she doesn't say, fervently, about herself?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    She is majestic! This memoir is raw, hysterical, and moving. It was an interesting peek into Black Broadway and Hollywood in the late 70s and 80s. Has anyone written a book about that yet? I need more. Anyhoo, if you read this (and you should,) listen to the audio version. She reads it herself, and it is a gift! May 20, 2020 - I reread this for book club. I tried to read the print version since I listened the audio version previously, but this demands to be heard in Ms. Lewis's voice. This time a She is majestic! This memoir is raw, hysterical, and moving. It was an interesting peek into Black Broadway and Hollywood in the late 70s and 80s. Has anyone written a book about that yet? I need more. Anyhoo, if you read this (and you should,) listen to the audio version. She reads it herself, and it is a gift! May 20, 2020 - I reread this for book club. I tried to read the print version since I listened the audio version previously, but this demands to be heard in Ms. Lewis's voice. This time around her mental health struggle captivated me in a way it didn't before. I highly recommend.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cam

    Jenifer Lewis who plays the mother on the hit tv series is bipolar and her addiction was sex. And she lived a very interesting life. I started this book thinking what on earth am I reading. Lol I wish this book started with her growing up first instead of her present going back to her past. I kept thinking why does she keep talking about how many different men she was sleeping with but I kept pushing forward. By chapter 9 it explained everything.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janani

    Starkly honest and powerful. She talks about her life, her career, opens up about her BPD and sex addiction, her family and so much more. It's entertaining and hilarious and touching all at the same time. The audiobook narration is a great experience.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    This review is specifically of the audiobook version read by the author. Did you know that the default setting for loan time on a digital audiobook with the NC Digital Library is 1 week unless you go into your settings an change it in advance? Yeah, me neither. Renewal is not an option when there's a hold list, but you can get back on it and wait and wait and wait for your turn again. It can be a long wait to pick back up at Chapter Ten. Check your digital library settings folks. On to the book .. This review is specifically of the audiobook version read by the author. Did you know that the default setting for loan time on a digital audiobook with the NC Digital Library is 1 week unless you go into your settings an change it in advance? Yeah, me neither. Renewal is not an option when there's a hold list, but you can get back on it and wait and wait and wait for your turn again. It can be a long wait to pick back up at Chapter Ten. Check your digital library settings folks. On to the book ... The performance is rich and wonderful. This is a rare case where I strongly approve of the book being read by the author. She's a performer. Theater performers make the best audiobook narrators. In fact, I was first drawn to this book by a video shared with me of Ms. Lewis reading a section of the book. The story itself has strong pros and equally strong cons, thus the middle-of-the road rating. When she speaks to her personal experience—whether of abuse or love, trauma or friendship—this book is at its best. I applaud her courage in sharing her personal story of mental illness. I, like she, hope that her story will encourage others to seek they help they need. I loved the tiny tidbits about her travels and hiking. I wish there had been more about that. She's also hilarious. I laughed to tears more than once. What made the book drag for me were two things. First, the endless list of names. There's a character in the original Death Race 2000 who refers to everyone as a "dear friend of mine". I was reminded so often of that. So many names. Celebrity memoir isn't really my thing. I got this because she's funny. So maybe they are all like that. Maybe they all could lose some 30 pages if all the unnecessary names and lavish praise of each name were edited out. Maybe the fans of the genre expect that and would be disappointed if it were omitted. But for me it was mind-numbing. The second issue I had was one of cohesion and flow. The story jumped in time quite a bit. I had a difficult time telling where I was at in her life. Especially since the time references were often given in term of movies and TV series being made. I don't watch enough of either to really be able to use that to give a sense of time. I had a difficult time understand the timeline of her life due to this. If you have a fuller familiarity with the media involved (and you probably do), this may not be as much of an issue for you.

  22. 4 out of 5

    stacia

    I love Jenifer Lewis. Always have. So when I found out she'd be releasing a memoir, I immediately added it to my TBR list. This book is, in many ways, exactly what you'd imagine, if you follow Lewis's career. The voice is very authentic; you can tell she penned it all herself. No "as told to"s here. The language is colorful and there are enough accounts of sexual escapades to leave you blushing. (As someone who grew up with a crush on Gregory Hines, I was especially flustered when he appeared he I love Jenifer Lewis. Always have. So when I found out she'd be releasing a memoir, I immediately added it to my TBR list. This book is, in many ways, exactly what you'd imagine, if you follow Lewis's career. The voice is very authentic; you can tell she penned it all herself. No "as told to"s here. The language is colorful and there are enough accounts of sexual escapades to leave you blushing. (As someone who grew up with a crush on Gregory Hines, I was especially flustered when he appeared here.) There were surprises, too. I thought I knew a bit about Lewis's acting career, but she's done soooo much more than I knew. I appreciated her candor about growing up in poverty, with an unaffectionate and strict mother, as well as her painstaking accounts of her struggles with bipolar disorder. I loved reading about all the close friendships she's cultivated, even as her mental health challenges have threatened many of them. This was an inspiring read, mostly, although -- as Ms. Lewis herself notes more than once -- she talks about herself a *lot.* That's to be expected in a memoir, of course, but the tone and voice and framing of this work threatens to be exhausting in its self-centeredness. Ms. Lewis certainly works hard to convey her commitment to causes and politics but much like the actress onscreen, her personality tends to eclipse whatever commentary she's offering. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can just get to be a lot (maybe this was the case for me because I read the whole thing in a day?). All in all, I'd recommend this to any fan.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    Jenifer Lewis The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir in audio,and before I started, I read that many didn’t care for her voice and now I know why. I felt she was overly theatrical. This book was hilarious for the first 4 chapters then it got dark, I mean real dark. Jenifer lets you in on her most personal moments from the men in her life, her struggles with bipolar disorder and the havoc it wreaked in her early life and her success in acting. This book is really worth the read just don’t do the Jenifer Lewis The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir in audio,and before I started, I read that many didn’t care for her voice and now I know why. I felt she was overly theatrical. This book was hilarious for the first 4 chapters then it got dark, I mean real dark. Jenifer lets you in on her most personal moments from the men in her life, her struggles with bipolar disorder and the havoc it wreaked in her early life and her success in acting. This book is really worth the read just don’t do the audio if your not with the xtra in her voice. I definitely recommend.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Beautifully Written Truth I've always loved Jenifer Lewis. I was shocked to read her story. To realize that she dealt with a difficult childhood, numerous romantic relationships, survived college and still conquered Hollywood give me hope for the future. Ms. Lewis's honesty and clear "I don't give a damn" attitude is refreshing. Read and learn about an amazing Black Woman.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Leonard

    (I’m really considering a 5 rating) I’m still processing and decided not to start a new audiobook today in order to cleanse my pallet. Where do I start with this lady? She is truly larger than life. She mentions in her book that her personality is so big that people either love her or hate her and she’s so right. I’m in the love her camp.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shameka

    Do yourself a favor—get the audiobook version and listen to Jenifer Lewis read her memoir! My goodness! This woman is a Black and National treasure!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ka’leneReads

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a really GoodRead!......LMAO

  28. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    Jenifer Lewis is amazing and this was a great opportunity to learn more about her life, her struggles and her accomplishments. She's funny and heartbreaking all at the same time.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tracy DeNeal

    Jenifer Lewis - The Real Deal It has been said that everyone is the star in his or her own story. Nothing could be more true in the case of Jenifer Lewis. This book was raw. What a celebration and testament to a life lived out loud and proud. My heart ached with her as she recounted the terrible toll of loss after loss of dear friends and loves that has plagued her over the years. I beamed at her accounts of her triumphs. Jenifer Lewis is a ubiquitous presence in my entertainment life. It just se Jenifer Lewis - The Real Deal It has been said that everyone is the star in his or her own story. Nothing could be more true in the case of Jenifer Lewis. This book was raw. What a celebration and testament to a life lived out loud and proud. My heart ached with her as she recounted the terrible toll of loss after loss of dear friends and loves that has plagued her over the years. I beamed at her accounts of her triumphs. Jenifer Lewis is a ubiquitous presence in my entertainment life. It just seems that she has always been on my television. Her magnetic presence unrelentingly attracts me. Her timing, voice, delivery and charisma combine to create some of the most memorable scenes that live on in my memory. Her lines are often quoted when recounting or reminiscing about some movie or television series. Seriously, when the camera pans to her, one sits up and takes notice. Now that I know her story, I am just in awe of her ability to survive and thrive where most would have crawled into a hole and given up. She recounts her story in fits and starts that sometimes gives me as the reader whiplash. But that's the way we tell our stories, isn't it? One moment I'm reading about an event that occurred in the 80s, next I'm catapulted to the 2000s. I could hear her voice in my head, telling me to pay attention because this is all relevant. Thank you Ms. Lewis for taking the time to share your story with the world.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ed Center

    I listened to this book on Audible.com and now can't imagine engaging the print version. I'm sure it's fine, but Jenifer Lewis's voice is close to a national treasure. Her rich baritone, the inflection of her sass, her comedic timing. This book had many snort out loud moments that had left me feeling awkward at the gym or on the bus. It starts out feeling like a monologue of your favorite, crazy, unfiltered aunt. But Lewis's story is much deeper than that. She took me on a journey both powerful I listened to this book on Audible.com and now can't imagine engaging the print version. I'm sure it's fine, but Jenifer Lewis's voice is close to a national treasure. Her rich baritone, the inflection of her sass, her comedic timing. This book had many snort out loud moments that had left me feeling awkward at the gym or on the bus. It starts out feeling like a monologue of your favorite, crazy, unfiltered aunt. But Lewis's story is much deeper than that. She took me on a journey both powerful and unexpected as she plumbs her struggle with bipolar disorder, her relationship with her mother, racism on broadway, losing so many theater friends to AIDS. The best moments are the funny moments with megastars of stage and screen. Minor SPOILER: I listened three times to her description of her brief and accidental fling with Gregory Hines and her description of him giving her a 3am buck naked piggy-back ride through the hall of the apartment building, down the elevator, into the lobby and back up, singing the whole time. Treat yourself and listen to this book.

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